Croker, Richard

Croker, Richard,

1841–1922, American politician, head of TammanyTammany
or Tammany Hall,
popular name for the Democratic political machine in Manhattan. Origins

After the American Revolution several patriotic societies sprang up to promote various political causes and economic interests.
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 Hall from 1886 to 1902, b. Co. Cork, Ireland. He became prominent as Democratic leader of New York City's East Side and as an aide of John KellyKelly, John,
1822–86, American politician, boss of Tammany Hall, b. New York City. He entered politics at an early age. At first he opposed Tammany Hall, but later (1853) joined the organization and became city alderman.
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. He was elected (1868) alderman and held minor appointive offices, which increased in importance after Kelly succeeded (1871) William M. Tweed as boss. Croker became Kelly's chief lieutenant, and after Kelly's retirement (1884) Croker was the acknowledged Tammany boss. Croker was (1889–90) city chamberlain and brought about the elections of Hugh Grant (1888), Thomas F. Gilroy (1892), and Robert Van Wyck (1897) as mayors. The election (1901) of Seth Low as mayor of New York caused Croker's abdication as Tammany leader, and he was succeeded by Charles F. MurphyMurphy, Charles Francis,
1858–1924, American political boss, b. New York City. He was the owner of many saloons in New York City and took a keen interest in Democratic politics. His services to Tammany Hall brought him a job as dock commissioner.
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. Croker spent the remainder of his life in leisure in England and Ireland.


See T. L. Stoddard, Master of Manhattan (1931).

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Croker, Richard

(1841–1922) political boss; born in County Cork, Ireland. His family came to New York City when he was three years old. He worked as a machinist and led a street gang (and was a prize fighter) and became involved in Democratic Party politics by serving as an aide to John Kelly of Tammany Hall. Croker was elected alderman in 1868, and when Kelly replaced the ousted (1871) “Boss” Tweed as the boss of New York City by 1874, Croker also gained influence. When Kelly retired in 1884, he left control of Tammany Hall to Croker. Although Croker held only one formal office during this period—city chamberlain (1889–90)—for the next 17 years, he had a large say in who was elected mayor of New York and controlled patronage. With the election of the reform candidate Seth Low in 1901, Croker lost influence and in 1903 he returned to Ireland, where he purchased a large estate and bred race horses, one of which won the coveted English Derby. He married twice, the second time to a Cherokee Indian.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Rangers: Chris Druett; Courtney Allette, Alex Chatterton, Mitch Turner, Johnathan Tinker; Joel Croker, Richard Knight; Dave Valentine, Stephen Berry, Kurt Selmes, Michael Murphy, Dave Pawson, Kris Harrop.